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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must!
Lore has it that this is the only time Garbo appears as a bleached blonde. This is one of my favorite films of all time & contains one of the sexiest love scenes I have ever seen - one passionate kiss that ranks in the top five kisses on film that I have ever seen. A MUST see for the Garbo or any period film fan. Yes she is the Drama Queen and overplays every...
Published on November 24, 1999 by Wendy Griffith

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BABY, I'M YOURS...
This is a poorly executed film that is based upon a play by Luigi Pirandello. The film opens onto a high end supper club in Budapest, where violins are playing and a chanteuse, an amnesiac who calls herself Zara (Greta Garbo), is singing to a packed audience. The languorous and world weary Zara leaves the stage, pursued by a number of enamored and decidedly unattractive...
Published on February 22, 2004 by Lawyeraau


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BABY, I'M YOURS..., February 22, 2004
This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is a poorly executed film that is based upon a play by Luigi Pirandello. The film opens onto a high end supper club in Budapest, where violins are playing and a chanteuse, an amnesiac who calls herself Zara (Greta Garbo), is singing to a packed audience. The languorous and world weary Zara leaves the stage, pursued by a number of enamored and decidedly unattractive stage door Johnnies of all ages, and they proceed to paint the town red.
When they arrive at Zara's home, they are greeted by the mysterious Count Salter (Erich von Stroheim), the man with whom she lives. While Zara is busy entertaining all but the audience of this film, an artist named Tony Boffie (Owen Moore) enters their home, addressing her as Maria, a woman whose portrait he painted years ago and who has been missing for ten years. Zara suddenly decides to leave with Tony, leaving the Count in a snit.
Zara and Tony go to Italy where, it turns out, a certain Bruno Varelli (Melvyn Douglas) has been pining for his wife Maria for the past ten years. It appears that Maria had disappeared in the confusion of the Austrian invasion of Italy during Word War I. Zara has no recollection of her former life, yet she tries to meld in to this life that everyone but she recalls. It is also clear that her husband is still besotted by her, despite the long, lost years.
As time passes, Zara, now Maria, begins to look more and more like the woman that Tony Boffie painted, as some of the melancholia seems to leave her. Then, a series of twists and turns, as well as a malicious attempt by Count Salter to reclaim his former lover, turn the Varelli household upside down. The moment of truth has finally arrived.
This is a mediocre film that has Greta Garbo wearing a laughable, Jean Harlow style, platinum blonde wig during her Zara days. Disjointed in its telling of the story and poorly cast, the film plods along, sinking under its own torpor. The film has little to commend it, other than the ever alluring presence of Greta Garbo. It is no surprise that this film languished at the box office when first released. If one is not a Greta Garbo fan, one should deduct one star from my rating.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's worth it alone to just see the fashion, September 15, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In some instances it is difficult to believe the story and to make sense of the plot, however, just for the fashion alone, this is worth seeing. Garbo is her dramatic self, over acting in many instances, but for the day it was appropriate. She exudes her dramatic flair that is so typical and why she is so loved. But the fashion is dynamite.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must!, November 24, 1999
This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Lore has it that this is the only time Garbo appears as a bleached blonde. This is one of my favorite films of all time & contains one of the sexiest love scenes I have ever seen - one passionate kiss that ranks in the top five kisses on film that I have ever seen. A MUST see for the Garbo or any period film fan. Yes she is the Drama Queen and overplays every line but no one does it as well as Garbo matter of fact her over-acting is refreshing in the face of all the under-acting we see nowadays. This film will surely be out of print soon so order it NOW.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, October 3, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I'm nuts about Garbo. I've seen 16 Garbo films, including 3 of the Silents. This was by far the least interesting I've yet seen. Typically, Garbo's mere presence makes a movie worthwhile, but this is an exception. It's odd to see Garbo as a blonde in the beginning of the film, but she is her usual alluring self. Unfortunatly, as the movie progresses, the plot stalls and Garbo's character is passive and uninteresting. It's not HER acting that disappoints; It's the dull plot and bored Melvyn Douglas as Garbo's hubby. Even if you love Garbo, this is still a movie you can miss or wait until it shows up on Turner Classic Movies. For an early Garbo talkie unexpected treat, try "Romance".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Garbo performance in adapted Pirandello script, April 13, 2006
By 
J. Kara Russell "Actress/Artist/Musician/Writer" (Hollywood - the cinderblock Industrial cubicle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Pirandello's "As You Desire Me" was both dumbed-down from the intellectually abstract play, and yet also very well fleshed out to transition it from the stage to the screen. It was also clearly written for the "Garbo" figure that had been created.
The first thing most reviewers comment on is Garbo's "horrible blonde wig". I question that this is a wig. If you are an afficionado of hair & costumes on film, the film was most likely shot out of sequence, in this order: Act 2 was shot with her normal "pageboy" hair, Act 3 was shot with her hair cut short, and Act 1 had the same short haircut with her hair bleached. (She took more than a year off after this movie.) And if I shot this film in this order, I'd be tired, too... it would leave you with a sour taste. Act 1 is very silly, and Eric Von Stoheim demonstrates with the overplaying of every line why he did not transition well to the more subtle art of the talkie.
In the first act of this film Garbo does a cheap imitation of her on-screen persona, as a backstage lush and libertine. The character is as unflattering and lazy as the costume of tights is unflattering and just, well, odd. While she is supposedly working in a dive, the place pictured is nearly an opera-house. The voice to represent her singing would better have come from Helen Hayes, it was a bad vocal match, but this was early talkies, so that can be excused.
Despite all this, the transition from play to film goes very well overall, it is a lovely friligree that allows Garbo her usual angst, but also a lightness. While I don't find Melvin Douglas attractive, she clearly enjoies working with him, as she did later in NINOTCHKA. (A much better film for him.) She seems able to let him carry her, and rests lightly on him through her performance, like a bouquet resting gently at the waistline of a chiffon dress.
What is left of the play is the wonderful, unusual plot... at times still a little too expository and exposition laden, but the story of a woman who: may have had amnesia, or maybe just tried to forget her past. It remains very interesting. Some of the intellectual game-playing is lost from the stage play, but that is good... that is what weighs the play down and makes it infrequently performed.
This film script provides the ending that we really need as an audience. Today's audience would want a bit more greyscale reality, but this is a rare Garbo movie where instead of transitioning from happy to lost to tortured, in this film we see her lost, tortured, and finally.... FINALLY happy. See a lighter, freer Garbo in a well-adapted early talkie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Garbo in an early soundie, still gorgeous to gaze upon, January 21, 2006
By 
Bomojaz (South Central PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A bit creaky like most movies in the early sound period, but Garbo is present and radiant as ever. It begins with Garbo as a boozy nightclub performer with a stable of men hangers-on, the worst of whom is Erich Von Stroheim; she seems to be suffering from amnesia. A friend of her husband's (she hasn't seen her husband, played by Melvyn Douglas, in 10 years) recognizes her and convinces her to come back with him to Douglas. She does, but Douglas and others are not sure she's his real wife, which is made more complicated by the fact that there's another woman making the same claim, part of a scheme concocted by Von Stroheim to get Garbo back. In an excellent scene, Garbo tells Douglas and the others that because they doubt her, she will not remain there. Eventually it's all resolved, which is kind of a disappointment since it was much more exciting with the doubt still in evidence. Rather stiff and stagey, especially Von Stroheim, though Garbo is delightful.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an underated Garbo film, August 15, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This film has been referred to as being strange, even bizarre, yet it gives garbo a chance for character diversity. In this evenly paced film she portrays a blonde,drunk,tortured soul with a sardonic wit who assumes a new identity of which she is not sure of. Erich Von Strohiem at a low point in his career and in poor health gives an interesting performance and for film buffs Hedda Hopper plays a supporting role. The film blends an eeriee quality with poignancy.For fans of the divine garbo its a must.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As You Desire Me, February 17, 2003
By 
A. Sebastian Catala "Chany Catala" (Wallingford, CT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"...there is nothing left in me, nothing in me, take me, take me and make me as you desire me!" Along with Gabriele D'Annunzio (poet and contemporary), Luigi Pirandello reigns an inspired playright. In his enigmatic 'As You Desire Me', Pirandello (b1867) grabs the world we think real and turns it inside out for us. A motley of frantic characters gather en scene, soon becoming lost in Pirandello's mischievous format. The explosive opening sets the mood of the play and establishes a theme of decadence. At the cortex pains a sublime amnesiac, soon we learn she is the reason-to-live of all. In the original Italian play Zara is known as La Ignotta (the unknown woman) In 'As You Desire Me' all players are promptly revealed as uncostumary theatrical metaphors, and soon the protagonist, the divine La Ignotta, is also lost in this mad delusionary conceptual design. What can be said about Thalberg's MGM's 'As You Desire Me? Perhaps, better, nothing. For us who admire Pirandello, also, D'Annunzio (his exquisite 'La gioconda' and 'la citta morta' legendary plays of Duse), this movie at first seems an aberration. The precocious theme twisted eternally in a macaw and senseless muddle. At first the movie appears only a clumpsy star vehicle. The Krupp diamond in a dime-store set. But there awaits a miracle. Perhaps not by accident a phantasmaghoric Garbo, en scene, alludes to all the intoxicating caprices in the original play. Despite Fitzmaurice's limitations and simplification of Pirandello. It's ultimately Garbo's wizardry that delivers the diaphanous riddles here. With her other-wordliness somehow she makes us forget that the author's original thought ran deeper. His brilliant attempt to illustrate, in his original tableaux, psychological and philosophical theorems to an intellectual and fastly decaying modern world. Triumphantly, before long, we realize Luigi Pirandello, the psyche manipulator, and Greta Garbo, the delicious ghost, make a good pair, and thus, succeed. Forgetting the banalities of the script. They are both elusive, but also effusive. Both 'Mata Hari' and 'As You Desire Me' were directed by George Fitzmaurivce in 1932; screenplay here by Gene Markey. In collaboration with the winning triumvirate of Adrian, William Daniels and Cedric Gibbons. 'Mata Hari' was a box-office bonanza alas 'As You Desire Me' languished (please look up my review of MGM's 'Mata Hari') It's curious these immense stories somehow lost their rightful thematic guideline. Indeed, of course, they remain luminous classics nevertheless. Take me, take me and make me as you desire me.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As You Desire Me, July 3, 2007
By 
Grace E. Todd (Massapequa, New York United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: As You Desire Me [VHS] (VHS Tape)
wonderful story, and as usual an incredible performance by the Great Garbo, it is so grand to see, how I feel bad there are no more movies of her later on, what a loss!
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As You Desire Me [VHS]
As You Desire Me [VHS] by George Fitzmaurice (VHS Tape - 1998)
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